Chandigarh, March 19: DGP Punjab Dinkar Gupta on Thursday termed attempts to radicalize youth through social media as a major challenge, but asserted that the Punjab Police had done exemplary work in combatting the same, while remaining highly vigilant to stop cross-border terrorism.
During an interaction on containing cross-border terrorism, the DGP said during the terrorism phase of 1980 to 1993, target killings and militancy in Punjab was rampant. About 28000 people lost their lives but Punjab defeated the terror with strong political will, in cooperation with people of Punjab.
“When I was SSP of Hoshiarpur in 1992, there was a big problem of urban insurgency, but then DGP KPS Gill, regarded as the tallest leader, thwarted the whole terrorism model in Punjab. At that time, leaders also infused energy in Punjab Police, motivating it to remain strong in the fight against terrorism,” he recalled.
Being a border state, Punjab was seeing drones being used by Pakistan to smuggle drugs and revive terrorism by instigating youth with its Khalistani agenda, said the DGP, adding that even sophisticated weapons, hand grenades and narcotics had been sent into India through drones. “However, with high level of surveillance and intelligence sharing, we have been very successful in controlling this new challenge,” he said, adding that Punjab Police had also busted 32 terrorist modules so far.
The DGP said that Punjab’s long border with Pakistan would always be a challenge for us. Further, Pakistan has been using innovative methods of narcotics supply, “but our forces are ready to handle this problem,” he added. All efforts were also being made by the police to protect youth from drug abuse, he said.
Former DIG BSF R.K. Bhargava said since 1980 onwards, Pakistan is sponsoring terrorism in Punjab to divide the communities of the state, but Indian security forces and Punjab Police have foiled their nefarious design.
Lt. General Satish Dua, former Chief of Integrated Defence Staff and Corps Commander in Kashmir, said several agencies, including state police, had played their role in uprooting terrorism from Punjab. Commenting on the use of drones by the neighbour country, he said very accurate Intelligence inputs were the need of the hour to intercept these machines.
Deliberating on the issue of keeping Punjab safe, ADGP Community Affairs, Gurpreet Kaur Deo said security of women in Punjab is always a big challenge, with crime against women, such as rape, sexual assault and domestic violence in Punjab, posing a big problem. For this, the Punjab Government has taken several concrete measures, and the helpline number launched as part of this had received 50000 calls so far. Out of these, 21000 calls were related to domestic violence. Apart from this, 114 ‘Sanjh’ centers have also been opened to provide counselling to rape victims, he added.